The Stockton Heat and City of Stockton have struck a one-year lease extension to cover the 2020-21 AHL season, giving the two sides more time to discuss a longer-term agreement.
The Heat’s 2019-20 season is the last covered by a five-year lease to Stockton Arena that began in 2015. Terms of the agreement included a team option for an additional five years. The Heat informed the city before this season that it would not exercise the option, but was open to negotiating an extension.
Back in October, the two sides indicated that they were discussing a short-term lease in order to cover the 2020-21 AHL season, which would serve as a stopgap while they negotiated a longer arrangement that could include upgrades to the team’s practice facility and Stockton Arena. Ulitmately, they have followed through on the short-term extension, as the city and Heat owner/NHL parent Calgary Flames confirmed this week they have extended their lease through the Heat’s 2020-21 campaign. More from The Record:
“We have recently extended our agreement in Stockton through 2020-21, and that’s all we are focused on at this time,” stated Peter Hanlon, the Flames’ vice president of communications.
Connie Cochran, the city of Stockton’s community relations officer, confirmed that the city agreed to the extension and said city and team officials have met frequently to discuss “the goal of a long-term lease.”
There is no word on when the next meeting would be.
The franchise arrived in Stockton after being relocated from Glens Falls, NY by the Flames, part of a larger trend that saw many western NHL organizations move their AHL clubs to the west coast in order to create a more favorable geographical situation. They swapped markets the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder, who called Stockton Arena home from 2005-2015 before shifting to Glens Falls.